Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Baby Love

I am loopy today. Not sure if it's because this is my last day of work in 2010 and the holidays are rapidly approaching, if it's because I'm planning holiday menus and plotting to wrap kids' gifts, or if I just need some more sleep. Probably all of the above. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's all of the above.

But I can't stop thinking about babies. About the sweet coos they make as newborns, the wobbly way they hold their heads up as they peer over your shoulder, the soft fringe of hair at the nape of their necks...

I am such a loon. Really, I am. I just have the overwhelming urge to snuggle a newborn right now, to meet a brand new person, showering them with crazy love.


Baby toes
Baby ears
Baby necks
Baby thighs
Baby bellies
Baby cheeks

Baby love.

I guess it's a good thing I've got two on the way, eh?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wiggle Room

Well, Milo is back to school today and no signs of illness from Violet. I say that as I knock very loudly and very hard on everything I can reach that is made of wood. And, after two nights of hardly any sleep, I finally crashed last night. Oh, I still got up to pee three times, but I was sufficiently tired enough to actually get back to sleep when I came back.

Milo delivered Christmas cards to his teacher and her aides this morning, they were all glad to see him back. He was pretty excited to be there because it's party day and the last day of school for him in 2010. No snow days so far, so school is out at 3:05 this afternoon and won't resume until Monday, January 3, 2011. Yay!

Scott was out running errands last night when I fed the kids. After eating, the twins were crazy active, so I beckoned the kids over and put their hands on my huge belly to feel their sisters for the first time. Violet's eyes were huge as she squealed, "I felt it! I felt the baby!" and Milo said, "I think I felt something, but I'm not sure..."

I said, "I am sure, buddy, and you did feel her!"

Then they wanted to call daddy, who sounded a wee bit jealous as he's not felt the babies just yet, though not for lack of trying. They were just in a great position last night, kicking right around my belly button and not playing around under my belly fat as they generally prefer to do. It must be warmer under that insulation.

Milo tried to hear them, even though I told him the babies don't make noise from inside. He insisted he heard something, but I explained that he did, in fact, likely hear me digesting my supper, but not the babies since you need air to make a sound with your vocal cords.

It was a very sweet moment -- both of my blonde beauties with their pink fingers gently resting on my big belly...

I think Violet is getting used to the idea of two baby sisters. She's been a little skeptical, and concerned about her place in the family, but we keep reminding her that she is our one and only Violet and will always be very loved. I think she's coming around, though, because when she told Scott about the feeling the babies, she sang, "I feeled my baby sisters moving in Mommy's tummy, Daddy!"

So, for now all is well. In the mean time, before all three girls hit their teens, Scott and I continue to try to figure out how to squeeze another bathroom into the house...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Overreact Much? Who, Me?

What is it about kid puke that sends me into anxiety over-drive? Seriously -- every time one of my kids has a tummy bug I am a wreck. Just a disaster. I'm far too stressed to eat, have to remind myself to drink, and can't sleep for more than an hour at a time without getting up to check on a both kids, in case someone has vomited in bed and I somehow missed it.

On Tuesday night, the kids had been sleeping, Scott was sound asleep, and I was trying to fall back asleep after a trip to the bathroom. I had already gotten up to pee twice and thought I heard one of the kids moan, so I got up yet again to check on them. Violet was out like a light, but Milo was tossing a bit and woke when I opened his door. He said, "I'm dizzy, mom, can I go downstairs?"

I said, "No, baby, it's the middle of the night. But if you're sick, you've got your bowl, right?"

There has been a tummy bug going around, and I leave big bowls next to the kids' beds "just in case."

He settled back in and I went back to bed, only to hear him coming out of his room five minutes later. I jump up and meet him and his bowl in the hallway as he starts emptying his stomach. Then Scott wakes up and he and I realize that the house smells like poop. Thank you so much, dogs...

Anyway, Milo wasn't even that ill -- he vomited about four times in 8 hours, took a three hour nap and never ran a fever. He wasn't ever in danger of dehydration, nor was he terribly uncomfortable.

But I was still completely unhinged when it came time for bed last night. I woke every hour to check both kids, tossed, turned, used the bathroom four times myself, and was generally awake all.night.long. Some of it was worry that it was snowing and that I'd be driving Scott's little Saturn Coupe to work today, but most of it was that I just didn't want to be changing sheets overnight. Or sitting up all night -- as I had with Milo. So, instead, I freaked out all night long.

I glared at Scott in the dark, beyond annoyed that he slumbered away in his Ambien-induced peace. I listened to Milo snore softly from his room, counted the number of times Violet rolled into the rails of her toddler bed (fourteen times, if you were curious), and heard the dogs sneeze occasionally from downstairs. I watched the fan spin, tried to breathe in synch with Violet's white noise ocean, and started doing random math problems in an attempt to bore myself to sleep.

None of it worked. Sigh...

It's so silly -- I didn't get this freaked out when Milo broke his arm. No, I was a calm, collected, rational mama then. I didn't suffer such angst when they catheterized Violet at 9 weeks to check for a UTI (negative, by the way). I don't get too concerned by coughs, runny noses, ear infections, or strange rashes.

But puke? It gets me every time. And my kids are now able to recognize the "I'm-gonna-throw-up!" feeling and ask for or grab a bowl. Even Violet can wake from a dead sleep and call, "I need a bowl!" I don't get this insanity.

And, mostly, I hope that I'm so darn tired from two less-than-satisfying nights of sleep that I really conk out tonight. Although, Violet's not out of the window of exposure yet. Argh...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Digesting (But not Disgusting)

Well, I am 19 weeks with the twins today. That puts me halfway to the induction/section point as my doc will deliver at 38 weeks. Does anyone else think this pregnancy is just flying by? Wow...

I had an 18 week appointment last Thursday and an anatomy ultrasound. Both babies are looking very healthy, both are measuring big. Baby A is measuring 1 day big and weighs 8oz and Baby B is measuring 3 days big and 9oz. They each had two halves of their brain, two kidneys, a bladder, and a four-chambered heart, so all of the parts and pieces are looking good, too.

Even more surprising, neither of them had a penis.

Why is this such a surprise? Well, in my Scott's family, girls are a rarity. My mother-in-law has four sons, her sister has two sons, and her brother had only boys, too. Scott's brothers have produced five sons, plus Milo. The only girls are Violet and R, who is seven months older than Violet -- both born in 2007.

And that, I think, is the reason that we're having two girls. Apparently, in this family, you only get girls if they are born in the same calendar year. In fact, as soon as we announced that we were expecting this time, we told Scott's youngest brother (the only one still wanting more kids) that if he wanted to get a girl, they'd better get busy and plan a 2011 baby. When we found out that we were expecting twins, I made the off-hand comment, "Oh, they're probably girls since girls only come two at a time around here."

And I was right. Which is still a shock to me. I really thought that one was a boy. I was looking forward to having another son -- the balance seemed right: two boys and two girls in our not-so-small family.

Please don't get me wrong -- I am beyond thrilled that the babies are healthy and growing and that I am healthy and growing with them. But I am a little sad in that my son won't get the experience of having a brother and that I won't have another little man to dote upon and raise into a fantastic man like his daddy. I love mothering my son. There's just something in his smile...

I'm pretty sure that I might be the only one feeling this way -- everyone else keeps joking about "Wow -- three weddings, huh?" and Scott's aunts have been calling and emailing their infinite congratulations -- it seems to be a big hullabaloo. And I'm not sad about having two more daughters, not at all. I can't wait to see them and watch them grow and learn about the women they will become. I think I just need some more time to digest that I won't have another little boy.

I did remind Scott that a time will come when Milo heads off to college and leaves Scott alone in the house with a sixteen-year-old Violet and thirteen-year-old twin girls and a menopausal wife. He volunteered to go with Milo.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Time Warp

In the blink of an eye...

My baby boy has become a real kid. He's reading now, slowly, haltingly, but reading nonetheless. And spelling every three and four letter word that pops into his brain. The sight words we got at his parent/teacher conference? He read all but five or six (of 56) easily. "Orange" tripped him up, but that's because, like most Midwestern kids, he pronounces it "ornj" by skipping a syllable.

He's got two loose teeth, the two middle ones on the bottom. Not only that, but a wide white permanent tooth has poked up behind the looser of the two, the left one. It is so wide that of course it's disturbed not one, but two baby teeth. Losing teeth? Insanity. Like his baby teeth did, that permanent one is coming up quickly -- he may only have his first jack-o-lantern grin for a week or two at this rate. Unless that permanent tooth makes it all the way up before completely dislodging the baby tooth.

This morning he woke up, holding his knees and shins and moaning, "My legs are killing me!" Growing pains. I guess it's a good thing that my mom-tuition told me to go ahead and buy him size six jeans even though it means we've been cuffing them three inches all fall. I was pretty sure that he was going to shoot up halfway through the jeans season and I didn't want to buy him jeans twice this year.

Good golly, wasn't it just yesterday that I was chasing down lost binkies and teaching him how to climb down from the couch? And now he's picking out a Christmas gift for his little sister -- and one that she'll love, too.

I'm not getting any older, how is it possible that he is?

Monday, December 6, 2010

15 Minutes Behind Schedule

This morning was definitely a Monday.

Scott came home yesterday after a successful hunt -- he and his brothers, father, nephews, and a few old coots party hunt in the southern part of the state.  I think maybe 10 people go?  Something like that.  Anyway, the first night down there they eat at some restaurant where prime rib is served and every year he ends up in digestive distress from it.  Poor guy!  They brought home four deer, so it wasn't a great hunt.  Unless you are Scott and got two of the deer, one while borrowing your brother's shotgun because the firing pin in yours wasn't working.

The kids and I were very glad to have him home, yay!  He missed the first snowfall -- about 2 inches of soft, white snow.  Pregnant mama decided she wasn't interested in shoveling the walk, so that didn't get done.  Oh, well...

Pregnant mama also has a cold.  It's not a very bad one, mostly some out-of-control nasal congestion.  But when all you can do for that is drink a bunch of water and wear Vicks Vapo-rub to bed, you don't get very restful sleep.  The last three nights, I'll sleep soundly until the first bathroom break, then I toss and turn and wake with my mouth all dry and fuzzy and my nose completely plugged shut.  So I drink water, which makes me have to pee again and the cycle repeats for five hours until the alarm goes off.  Sigh...  I finally got a little rest sleeping sitting up, propped by five pillows.  Maybe if I start the night that way I won't end up with a mouth so dry my tongue sticks to my teeth.

After that wonderful night's sleep, I creak down the stairs slowly to discover that one dog has pooped on the floor and the other has puked on the floor.  I lit a bunch of candles and chose to clean up the puke as it was mostly phlegm and not nearly as stinky as the poop.  Milo comes down the stairs, cute as can be in his waaaay too big snowman pajamas.  "Mom!  Don't you know what size I wear??"  Well, yes, dear. The problem is you wear a size 6, which is almost always paired with a 7 and NOT a 5.  So your size 6 pajamas are closer to a size 7.  Just pull them up to your armpits -- no one can see because she shirt comes down to your knees.

Scott finally comes down and cleans up the dog poo while I make my cereal (15 minutes late) and the get the kids' milk.  I eat as quickly as one can when trying to eat shredded wheat on a sore throat and hop into the shower as Scott heads upstairs to wake Princess Sleepyhead.  I get out of the shower and stick my head out of the bathroom because one of the kids is yelling something to Scott.  I figure when I don't hear an adult male voice, he's going outside to start the car or let the chickens out.  But nope.  Apparently he was still having digestive distress from the prime rib or something, because he was in the other bathroom.  And Milo was dressed, but Violet was not.  And we're 15 minutes behind schedule by this point.  D'oh!

I dash upstairs to get dressed, thinking, "I'd better wear my snowboots."

Wait a minute -- so should Milo.  And he should pack his snowpants.  Neither of which have been labeled yet.  Neither of which have had the tags cut off yet.  And we're 15 minutes behind schedule.  Thank goodness Scott had the same idea because when I cam flying down the stairs, he was holding Milo's boots and a Sharpie, trying to figure out where to put his name.  I hand him the snowpants, too and order the kids into their coats.

Naturally, as soon as Violet sees the snowpants, she needs hers, too.  Fortunately, Scott is able to distract her with a handful of trail mix.  One of his hands full, which means both of her hands are full of trail mix and she's not in her coat, but demanding to wear her mittens.  So we scrape the trail mix off of her little hands and get her into her coat.  I hand her the mittens as I hear Milo head out of the house.  Then I hear her following me as I run for my coat in the opposite direction of out of the house.  "No!  Other way, Violet!"

"But my mittens!  I'm cold!"

"Daddy -- have daddy help you with your mittens, mommy doesn't even have her coat on!"

She sighs audibly (when did I start raising a pint-sized Marge Simpson?) and trudges to the door, where daddy is waiting and helps her with her purple mittens.  Kids are in the car and somehow we've made up five minutes, so we're only ten minutes late at this point.

Thankfully, the roads aren't bad and I get into town about as fast as normal.  Drop Violet off and pick up the sitter's youngest, get to school where we're late enough that the crossing guard has abandoned her post, but the drop-off line is still almost a block long.  Usher the boys across the street and into the school where I help Milo out of his new boots and into his shoes and leave before the bell rings.  That was about as close as we've ever been to being late, but we made it, whew!

This was so NOT the way I wanted to start this work week.  Really, it wasn't.  Deep breaths, mama...

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Christmas Wish List

OK, this is one of those posts that might not really, necessarily be about what I really WANT, more about what I could really use for the upcoming year.


Lots and lots of diapers.  Two little bum's worth of diapers and related products.
So, here's my wish list, in case there's anyone out there (ahem, Secret Santa) who thinks getting me diapers for Christmas sounds like a super idea.

1.  All-in-one diapers for day care.  I don't want my poor sitter having to work too hard to keep my babies tushies in eco and wallet friendly cloth.  After all, she's not just changing MY kids' diapers.  Here are some that I think I'd like:  Sposo-Easy All-in-One Diapers  with snaps, I think.  I've heard that the hook-and-loop ones are sometimes a pain.  Probably 8 each of the small and medium sized diapers.  That way I have enough for four diaper changes each at day care -- where they'll be for four hours a day.  I plan to tote them there and back, washing daily.

2.  Cloth diapers.  These look nice and soft and absorbent:  Cloth-eez Pre-Fold diapers  I'm thinking a couple dozen in each size – newborn, small, medium, and large.  This looks like it would get my twins through age 3 or so.

3.  Diaper covers.  To contain the pre-fold diapers.  Again, I'm looking at snap covers.  Thirsties Duo-Wraps seem to have gotten pretty good reviews, so let's start there!  I think I'd need maybe 8 in each size, maybe 12 if I wanted to do laundry every other day.

4.  A diaper pail.  That's pretty self explanatory.

5.  Wet bags.  Another one that seems pretty easy to locate.  Bonus points for finding a totally cute fabric one so I don't feel like a garbage man as I carry it to and fro...  Here are some examples.

6.  Diaper laundry detergent.  My cloth-diapering friends all SWEAR by Rockin Green and I've ordered sample for my regular laundry and love it.  Phosphate free, so good for my septic system.  I'm guessing we'd need the Hard Rock variety, but I'd be incredibly interested in the Ammonia Bouncer, Pail Freshener, and Dryer Balls, too.  Rage Against the Raspberries was my favorite scent.

It took a small amount of convincing to get Scott on board with this -- he remembers the days of cloth diapers with diaper pins and other torture devices.  But putting this expense all up front with basically just laundry soap for maintenance costs just seemed so much more economical than buying five boxes of diapers a month for the next two-three years.  Not to mention that I think I’ve gone greener living out in the country – I’ve been using shampoo bars and handmade soaps to reduce the plastic of shampoo/conditioner and body wash bottles.  I recycle everything I can think to recycle and try to avoid buying foods that are more preservative than food.  I think this next step just makes sense for us at this point.

So, if any of you experienced cloth-diapering parents out there have any advice, I’d be more than willing to hear it!  Drop me a line or leave a comment and let me know if I’ve missed anything here…